New Zealand is a sovereign island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. The country geographically comprises two main landmasses—the North Island, the South Island —and around 600 smaller islands. New Zealand is situated some 2,000 kilometres east of Australia across the Tasman Sea and 1,000 kilometres south of the Pacific island areas of New Caledonia and Tonga; because of its remoteness, it was one of the last lands to be settled by humans. During its long period of isolation, New Zealand developed a distinct biodiversity of animal and plant life; the country's varied topography and its sharp mountain peaks, such as the Southern Alps, owe much to the tectonic uplift of land and volcanic eruptions. New Zealand's capital city is Wellington. Sometime between 1250 and 1300, Polynesians settled in the islands that were named New Zealand and developed a distinctive Māori culture. In 1642, Dutch explorer Abel Tasman became the first European to sight New Zealand. In 1840, representatives of the United Kingdom and Māori chiefs signed the Treaty of Waitangi, which declared British sovereignty over the islands.
In 1841, New Zealand became a colony within the British Empire and in 1907 it became a dominion. Today, the majority of New Zealand's population of 4.9 million is of European descent. Reflecting this, New Zealand's culture is derived from Māori and early British settlers, with recent broadening arising from increased immigration; the official languages are English, Māori, NZ Sign Language, with English being dominant. A developed country, New Zealand ranks in international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, economic freedom. New Zealand underwent major economic changes during the 1980s, which transformed it from a protectionist to a liberalised free-trade economy; the service sector dominates the national economy, followed by the industrial sector, agriculture. Nationally, legislative authority is vested in an elected, unicameral Parliament, while executive political power is exercised by the Cabinet, led by the prime minister Jacinda Ardern.
Queen Elizabeth II is the country's monarch and is represented by a governor-general Dame Patsy Reddy. In addition, New Zealand is organised into 11 regional councils and 67 territorial authorities for local government purposes; the Realm of New Zealand includes Tokelau. New Zealand is a member of the United Nations, Commonwealth of Nations, ANZUS, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, ASEAN Plus Six, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, the Pacific Community and the Pacific Islands Forum. Dutch explorer Abel Tasman sighted New Zealand in 1642 and named it Staten Land "in honour of the States General", he wrote, "it is possible that this land joins to the Staten Land but it is uncertain", referring to a landmass of the same name at the southern tip of South America, discovered by Jacob Le Maire in 1616. In 1645, Dutch cartographers renamed the land Nova Zeelandia after the Dutch province of Zeeland. British explorer James Cook subsequently anglicised the name to New Zealand. Aotearoa is the current Māori name for New Zealand.
It is unknown whether Māori had a name for the whole country before the arrival of Europeans, with Aotearoa referring to just the North Island. Māori had several traditional names for the two main islands, including Te Ika-a-Māui for the North Island and Te Waipounamu or Te Waka o Aoraki for the South Island. Early European maps labelled the islands North and South. In 1830, maps began to use North and South to distinguish the two largest islands and by 1907 this was the accepted norm; the New Zealand Geographic Board discovered in 2009 that the names of the North Island and South Island had never been formalised, names and alternative names were formalised in 2013. This set the names as North Island or Te Ika-a-Māui, South Island or Te Waipounamu. For each island, either its English or Māori name can be used. New Zealand was one of the last major landmasses settled by humans. Radiocarbon dating, evidence of deforestation and mitochondrial DNA variability within Māori populations suggest New Zealand was first settled by Eastern Polynesians between 1250 and 1300, concluding a long series of voyages through the southern Pacific islands.
Over the centuries that followed, these settlers developed a distinct culture now known as Māori. The population was divided into iwi and hapū who would sometimes cooperate, sometimes compete and sometimes fight against each other. At some point a group of Māori migrated to Rēkohu, now known as the Chatham Islands, where they developed their distinct Moriori culture; the Moriori population was all but wiped out between 1835 and 1862 because of Taranaki Māori invasion and enslavement in the 1830s, although European diseases contributed. In 1862 only 101 survived, the last known full-blooded Moriori died in 1933; the first Europeans known to have reached New Zeala
Court of Appeal of New Zealand
The Court of Appeal of New Zealand is principal intermediate appellate court of New Zealand. It is the final appellate court for a number of matters. In practice, most appeals are resolved at this intermediate appellate level, rather than in the Supreme Court; the Court of Appeal has existed as a separate court since 1862 but, until 1957, it was composed of Judges of the High Court sitting periodically in panels. In 1957 the Court of Appeal was reconstituted, it is located in Wellington. The President and nine other permanent appellate Judges constitute the full-time working membership of the Court; the Court sits in panels of five Judges and three Judges depending on the nature and wider significance of the particular case. A considerable number of three-Judge cases are heard by Divisional Courts consisting of one permanent Court of Appeal Judge and two High Court Judges seconded for that purpose. In the main, criminal appeals will be allocated to a Divisional Court unless the President otherwise directs.
This recognises the insights. Counsel for the appellant or respondent may request a direction that a particular appeal be instead allocated to a Permanent Court or a Full Court. Longer civil appeals or areas that raise legal issues of public significance will be allocated to a Permanent Court. Appeals from decisions of Associate Judges of the High Court and shorter civil appeals that raise factual issues will be allocated to a Divisional Court unless the President otherwise directs. Again counsel for the appellant or respondent may request a direction that a particular appeal be allocated to a Divisional Court, a Permanent Court or a Full Court; the President will determine whether an appeal is of sufficient significance to warrant the consideration of a Full Court of five members. The President will, consult with other permanent Judges; such a decision is made only once or twice a year. The Court of Appeal deals with civil and criminal appeals from matters heard in the High Court, serious criminal charges from the District Court.
Matters appealed to the High Court from the District Court and certain tribunals can be taken to the Court of Appeal with leave, if a second appeal is warranted. The Court may grant leave to hear appeals against pre-trial rulings in criminal cases, appeals on questions of law from the Employment Court; the Court sits as a Permanent Court in Wellington in “sessions” lasting three weeks. These are followed by two “circuit” weeks, in which members of the Permanent Court either sit in Divisional Courts or else write judgments. Divisional Courts are conducted on circuit – in the regions. There are 40 Divisional Court weeks, divided into 20 in Auckland, 16 in Wellington, 2 or 3 weeks in Christchurch and 1 week in Dunedin; the Court maintains a hearing centre in Auckland. Appeals from the upper North Island are heard there, appeals from the South Island are heard in Christchurch or Dunedin, but where urgency dictates, a Divisional appeal will be heard in Wellington. On occasion the Permanent Court sits in Auckland.
The Court of Appeal Rules 2005 set out the procedural requirements for pursuing civil appeals. The Court of Appeal has jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from any judgment, decree or order of the High Court. Where the appeal to the Court of Appeal is itself an appeal from another court to the High Court, a further appeal to the Court of Appeal is available only if leave to appeal is given by the High Court or, where leave is refused by the High Court, by the Court of Appeal. Appeals on questions of law from the Employment Court can, with the leave of the Court of Appeal, be brought to the Court of Appeal. Any person convicted in the High Court or, on more serious charges, in the District Court may appeal to the Court of Appeal against the conviction, or the sentence passed on conviction, or both; the Court of Appeal has jurisdiction to hear appeals against pre-trial rulings in criminal cases. There is a right of appeal with respect to High Court decisions granting or refusing bail or in respect of conditions of bail.
The Court of Appeal Rules 2001 set out the procedural requirements for pursuing criminal appeals in the Court of Appeal. The Crimes Act 1961 and Criminal Procedure Act 2011 contain both substantive and procedural provisions relevant to criminal appeals to the Court of Appeal. An appeal or application for leave to appeal must be dealt with by way of a hearing involving oral submissions unless the judge or court making the decision on the mode of hearing determines that the appeal or application can be dealt with on the papers. If the appellant is in custody he or she is not entitled to be present at a hearing involving oral submissions unless there is a legislative right to be present, or the Court of Appeal grants leave. AVL technology is used by the Court; the current judges of the Court of Appeal of New Zealand are: The current Registrar of the Court is Maryanne McKennie. The Court of Appeal has existed since 1862. Before the establishment of the Court of Appeal, appeals from High Court decisions were heard by the Governor and members of the Executive Council.
This was a temporary measure. By 1860, the High Court bench was large enough to sustain a court of appeal, but not large enough to provide a permanent court of appeal. In 1862 the Court of Appeal was consisted of judges of the High Court on a rotating basis, it sat in Christchurch and Dunedin, moved to Wellington when that city became capital in 1865. The increa
Electoral reform in New Zealand
Electoral reform in New Zealand has, in recent years, become a political issue as major changes have been made to both Parliamentary and local government electoral systems. National elections in New Zealand were first held in 1853 using a simple version of the first-past-the-post electoral system and conducted over a period of two and a half months. At this time, the country was divided into 23 electorates who elected either a single member or three members depending on the population within that area; this basic system continued over a great period of time, with major diversions only in the form of the change to the second ballot system for two elections, in the 1908 election and 1911 election. The first-past-the-post electoral system used in New Zealand for much of its history was a simple plurality system, in which voters choose the candidate they wish to represent the electorate they live in; the candidate that garners the most votes through this process is elected to Parliament. Elections conducted in this manner result in an absolute majority, in which the party who wins the most votes has the absolute power in the house.
The only deviation from this in New Zealand during the FPP era was before the 1890s during which each member was independent and as such no political parties existed. The second-ballot system introduced from 1908-1913 was a modification of the existing FPP system, wherein for a candidate to be elected, they must garner over 50% of the votes in their district. If they did not reach this threshold, a new ballot would be conducted featuring only the two highest polling candidates, to ensure one gains over 50%. Mixed-member proportional as seen in New Zealand from 1996 onward, is a proportional system wherein each voter has two votes. One of these is for the candidate in their electorate and one is for the overall political party; the party vote is what decides the number of seats each party gains in parliament, with any shortfall between the number of electorates won and the overall percentage made up by list party members. The impetus to change from FPP to MMP was due to the excessive disproportionality FPP elections are prone to.
Prominent examples of this include the 1966 election, in which the Social Credit Party gained 9% of the vote and yet won only a single seat. Furthermore, this disproportionality lead to the successful party winning less overall votes than the opposition, but gaining more seats. An example of this is the 1978 election, in which the Labour Party won more than 10,000 votes more than the National Party but gained 11 fewer seats in Parliament. Another major factor that highlighted the weaknesses of FPP was the potential abuse of power that could occur. New Zealand does not have a written Constitution, as such it is subject to change. Under FPP the power is concentrated with the leader of the winning party. Prime Minister Robert Muldoon showed this when he illegally abolished the Superannuation scheme upon his election in 1975. Though the Judiciary ruled this move illegal, they were unable to halt the action and Muldoon faced no repercussions for this abuse in power. Due to these factors, in 1979 the Labour Party adopted policy to consider the adoption of proportional representation in place of the contemporary FPP system.
While changes resultant from this were delayed, the undercurrent of support for electoral reform continued and were bolstered by the commissioning of the Royal Commission on the Electoral System in 1985 which recommended a change to MMP. Both the Labour and National parties entered the 1990 election with policy for a referendum on electoral reform; this referendum was held in 1992 and represented the first tangible governmental step towards electoral reform. The results of this referendum overwhelmingly supported change and selected MMP as the preferred electoral system to replace FPP. Due to this a binding referendum was held the following year in 1993, offering a choice between these two systems. MMP was selected by a vote of 53.9% to 43.1% and was implemented at the following election in 1996. Authority for government in New Zealand is derived from Te Tiriti o Waitangi, signed in 1840; the meaning of Te Tiriti is complicated by the fact that the Maori and English texts of the agreement are not consistent in their meanings.
While the English version is interpreted to have ceded absolute sovereignty, the Māori version only cedes governorship. In the years since 1840, the English interpretation was privileged. Thus, New Zealand became a British colony and was ruled by a governor until 1852, when the British government passed the New Zealand Constitution Act 1852; this Act established settler self-government in New Zealand by the way of a bi-cameral Parliament consisting of an appointed Legislative Council and a House of Representatives. Following this, the first government was elected using a simple first-past-the-post electoral system, with single and multi-member districts. Political franchise was only extended at this time to male land owners over the age of 21, which disqualified many Māori due to their communal ownership of land. Furthermore, no women were extended the right to vote; however this changed in 1893 when New Zealand became the first self-governing country in the world to allow women the right to vote.
In response to Māori antagonism towards the governments of the time due to their general lack of franchise, the 1867 the Māori Representation Act was passed, which established four additional Māori electorates throughout the country. Each of these would each e
Order of New Zealand
The Order of New Zealand is the highest honour in New Zealand's honours system, created "to recognise outstanding service to the Crown and people of New Zealand in a civil or military capacity". It was instituted by royal warrant of 6 February 1987; the order is modelled on the British Order of Order of the Companions of Honour. The order comprises the Sovereign and ordinary and honorary members; the ordinary membership is limited to 20 living members, at any time there may be fewer than 20. Additional members may be appointed to commemorate important royal, state or national occasions, such appointments were made in 1990 for the 150th anniversary of the Treaty of Waitangi, in 2002 for the Queen’s Golden Jubilee, in 2007 for the 20th anniversary of the institution of the Order, in 2012 for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Honorary membership is for citizens of nations. Members are entitled to the post-nominal letters "ONZ". Appointments to the order are made by royal warrant under the monarch's sign manual on the prime minister’s advice.
The order is administered by a Registrar. The insignia is made up of an oval medallion of the Arms of New Zealand in gold and coloured enamel, worn on a white and ochre ribbon around the neck for men or a bow for women on their left shoulder. Sovereign: The Queen of New ZealandOfficers: Secretary and Registrar: Michael L. C. Webster. Buckingham Palace page on the Order of New Zealand Order of New Zealand at New Zealand Defence Force New Zealand Legislation; the statutes of the Order can be found as SR 1987/67 of New Zealand regulations
Niue is an island country in the South Pacific Ocean, 2,400 kilometres northeast of New Zealand, east of Tonga, south of Samoa, west of the Cook Islands. Niue's land area is about 261 square kilometres and its population, predominantly Polynesian, was about 1,600 in 2016; the island is referred to as "The Rock", which comes from the traditional name "Rock of Polynesia". Niue is one of the world's largest coral islands; the terrain of the island has two noticeable levels. The higher level is made up of a limestone cliff running along the coast, with a plateau in the centre of the island reaching 60 metres high above sea level; the lower level is a coastal terrace 0.5 km wide and about 25–27 metres high, which slopes down and meets the sea in small cliffs. A coral reef surrounds the island, with the only major break in the reef being in the central western coast, close to the capital, Alofi. A notable feature are the many limestone caves near the coast. Niue is a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand.
Niueans are citizens of New Zealand, Queen Elizabeth II is head of state in her capacity as Queen of New Zealand. Between 90% and 95% of Niuean people live in New Zealand, along with about 70% of the speakers of the Niuean language. Niue is a bilingual country, with 30% of the population speaking both Niuean and English, though the percentage of monolingual English-speaking people is only 11%, while 46% are monolingual Niuean speakers. Niue is not a member of the United Nations, but UN organisations have accepted its status as a freely-associated state as equivalent to independence for the purposes of international law; as such, Niue is a member of some UN specialised agencies, is invited, alongside the other non-UN member state, the Cook Islands, to attend United Nations conferences open to "all states". Niue has been a member of the Pacific Community since 1980. Niue is subdivided into 14 villages; each village has a village council. The villages are at the same time electoral districts. A small and democratic nation, Niueans hold legislative elections every 3 years.
The Niue Integrated Strategic Plan, adopted in 2003, is the national development plan, setting national priorities for development in areas such as financial sustainability. Since the late 20th century Niue has become a leader in green growth. In January 2004, Niue was hit by Cyclone Heta, which caused extensive damage to the island, including wiping out most of South Alofi; the disaster set the island back about two years from its planned timeline to implement the NISP, since national efforts concentrated on recovery. Polynesians from Samoa settled Niue around 900 AD. Further settlers arrived from Tonga in the 16th century; until the beginning of the 18th century, Niue appears to have had no national government or national leader. Around 1700 the concept and practice of kingship appears to have originated through contact with the Tongans who settled around the 1600s. A succession of patu-iki ruled. Tui-toga, who reigned from 1875 to 1887, was the first Christian king; the first Europeans to sight Niue sailed under Captain James Cook in 1774.
Cook made three attempts to land. He named the island "Savage Island" because, as legend has it, the natives who "greeted" him were painted in what appeared to be blood; the substance on their teeth was a native red fe'i banana. For the next couple of centuries, Niue was known as Savage Island until its original name, Niuē, which translates as "behold the coconut", regained use; the next notable European visitors represented the London Missionary Society. After many years of trying to land a European missionary, a Niuean named Nukai Peniamina went with his friend, Niumaga, to Samoa and trained as a pastor at the Malua Theological College. Peniamina returned in 1846 on the John Williams as a missionary with the help of Toimata Fakafitifonua, he was allowed to land in Uluvehi Mutalau after a number of attempts in other villages had failed. The chiefs of Mutalau village allowed him to land and assigned over 60 warriors to protect him day and night at the fort in Fupiu. In July 1849 Captain John Erskine visited the island in HMS Havannah.
Christianity was first taught to the Mutalau people. Other major villages opposed the introduction of Christianity and had sought to kill Peniamina; the people from the village of Hakupu, although the last village to receive Christianity and asked for a "word of God". In 1889 the chiefs and rulers of Niue, in a letter to Queen Victoria, asked her "to stretch out towards us your mighty hand, that Niue may hide herself in it and be safe". After expressing anxiety lest some other nation should take possession of the island, the letter continued: "We leave it with you to do as seems best to you. If you send the flag of Britain, well; the British did not take up the offer. In 1900 a petition by the Cook Islanders asking for annexation included Niue "if possible". In a document dated 19 October 1901, the "King" and Chiefs of Niue consented to "Queen Victoria taking
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion
Supreme Court of New Zealand
The Supreme Court of New Zealand is the highest court and the court of last resort of New Zealand, having formally come into existence on 1 January 2004. The court sat for the first time on 1 July 2004, it replaced the right of appeal based in London. It was created with the passing of the Supreme Court Act 2003, on 15 October 2003. At the time, the creation of the Supreme Court and the abolition of appeals to the Privy Council were controversial constitutional changes in New Zealand; the Act was repealed on 1 March 2017 and replaced by the Senior Courts Act 2016. It should not be confused with New Zealand's "old" Supreme Court, a superior court, established in 1841 and continued in 1980 as the High Court of New Zealand; the name was changed in anticipation of the eventual creation of a final court of appeal for New Zealand that would be called the "Supreme Court". The inaugural bench were the most senior judges of the New Zealand Court of Appeal at the time, their appointment to the new Court was said to have been based on merit.
The maximum bench under statute is six judges. Several acting Judges have been appointed to sit whenever a permanent judge was unable to do so due to illness or a conflict of interest; these judges were appointed from the retired judges of the Court of Appeal and including Justices Sir John Henry, Sir Ted Thomas, former President of the Court of Appeal Sir Ivor Richardson and former Chief Justice Sir Thomas Eichelbaum. Acting judges only sit on substantive appeals, not applications for leave, due to the requirement for appeals to be heard en banc by five judges. On 4 May 2005, Attorney General Michael Cullen announced the appointment of Justice Sir John McGrath of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court bench as its sixth permanent judge. On 21 February 2006, the Honourable Sir Noel Anderson was appointed to the Supreme Court, thus the promotion of the most senior Court of Appeal member has continued. This practice was broken with the appointment of Justice Bill Wilson in December 2007 after having served less than a year as a judge of the Court of Appeal.
While the suggestion of ending appeals to the Privy Council had been around since the Statute of Westminster Adoption Act 1947, proposals to end appeals to the Privy Council began in the late 1970s, when a Royal Commission on the judiciary canvassed arguments for replacing the Privy Council. In the early 1980s, Minister of Justice Jim McLay suggested their abolition. Proposals for an indigenous final appellate court can be traced back to 1985. In 1996, Paul East, Attorney-General of the Bolger government, proposed to end the status of the Privy Council as the country's highest court of appeal; the proposal got as far as a Bill being introduced into Parliament. However, this Bill met with little support from within the National Party, the Bill was not carried over by the next Parliament following the 1996 general election; the policy was resurrected in 1999 by the Fifth Labour Government of 1999 – 2008. A discussion paper, Reshaping New Zealand's Appeal Structure attracted 70 submissions. A year a Ministerial Action Group was formed to assist Ministers in designing the purpose and make-up of a final court of appeal.
The Group's report, Replacing the Privy Council: A New Supreme Court was published in April 2002, before the general election a few months later. Upon the re-election at the New Zealand general election, 2002, as part of the Labour Party's election manifesto, the Attorney-General, Labour's Margaret Wilson, introduced the Supreme Court Bill to create the Supreme Court and abolish appeals to the Privy Council on 9 December 2002. A Campaign for the Privy Council was established to lobby against the abolition of appeals. Many business and community groups joined the opposition to the ending of appeals; the Monarchist League of New Zealand opposed the abolition of appeals, stating Margaret Wilson argued in favour of the Bill, stating: At select committee, the Bill attracted numerous submissions for and against creating the Supreme Court. Notable supporters of the Supreme Court were former President of the Court of Appeal, Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, Privy Councillor Lord Cooke of Thorndon and former Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer, while most senior lawyers were opposed to the change.
The Monarchist League complained the majority of members of the select committee were motivated by a "republican agenda". The Supreme Court Act 2003 passed its third reading by a small margin – the governing Labour and Progressive parties, supported by the Greens, voted in favour, while the National, New Zealand First, ACT New Zealand, United Future parties voted against, it received Royal Assent on 17 October 2003, with commencement on 1 January 2004. In 2008, National leader John Key ruled out any abolition of the Supreme Court and return to the Privy Council. After the Opposition parties unsuccessfully called for a national referendum on the matter, Auckland lawyer Dennis J Gates launched a petition for a non-binding citizens initiated referendum on 3 April 2003, asking the question "Should all rights of appeal to the Privy Council be abolished?". The petition failed to gain the 310,000 signatures of registered electors needed and lapsed on 2 July 2004. One issue, contentious as the Bill was being debated in Parliament was the appointment of judges to the Court, with opposition parties claiming that the Attorney-General would make partisan choices.
These concerns were because the entire bench was to be appointed and no clear statement had been made about how they would be se